Icity now Available on Steam!

Icity now Available on Steam!

icity_capsule_main_workshopWe’ve very excited to announce that our new game Icity is now released and is available on the Steam Store!  Icity is a Flight Sim … and a City Builder; and like nuts and gum, they’re together at last.  Icity allows the player to fly specially-designed aircraft to build a city of their very own. It features a great set of flight controls which are based upon current advances in avionics. The construction is also futuristic, employing 3D printers and equipment which are currently being researched for advanced building projects.

Thanks to everyone in the hangar for all their support – now it’s time to spread the word so everyone can enjoy this great game.

 

Giant 3D Building Printers !! From Mars?

Giant 3D Building Printers !!  From Mars?

3D Office BuildingNo way!  Giant 3D printers already exist that can print-out entire buildings?  It’s true, and we think it sounds like lots of serious fun.  What better way to shake up the old housing biz than the ability to push a button and print out any quirky design that springs to mind.  Old castles, sleek Barcelona pavilions, Second Empire Munster mansions, or even rows of ricky shacks from urban slums … it’s all possible.  Yet it raises an interesting question: if anything is possible, would you make anything, or would you stick with the standard designs we already know or even those that are deemed acceptable based on market conditions and resale potential?  After all, the standard Victorian-style house is still popular, even a century after the Victorian-age ended. And aren’t neutral colours and warm whites the best for interior walls, to maximize value?

Construction has always been a balance between the freedom of imagination (or at least individual taste) and the constraints of materials (particularly their form and cost).  That’s why leading architects are masters of the materials they employ, it allows them to use materials in new ways that stretch the imagination.  And that’s why most of us live in some form of box like shape … because it’s cheaper to make straight pieces of wood.  But imagine what kind of a house, or office, you might make if you could print anything you wanted to live in.  Perhaps a giant snail shell?  Or something the shape of a crop circle?  Any ideas?  Leave your ideas and feedback below!

Oh, and no … they’re not from Mars.

Image Source: Government of Dubai (Media Office)

What makes a Great Autopilot?

What makes a Great Autopilot?

F-105B AvionicsSometimes a pilot just needs to kick back and relax, maybe even take a quick nap … and that’s what autopilots are for.  Sort of.  These technical marvels allow the operators of planes, boats, and fancy cars to automated some of their regular chores, so they can attend to other things while moving along with out worrying about stuff like parallel parking or navigation. They’re useful and good to have – but what makes a really great one?  We looking into that very question to enable the pilots and mission specialists of Ice City to complete their work with panache!

ICITY’s BA2 aircraft prototype employs a basic autopilot inspired by the multi-axial systems used in many types of helicopters (a good fit for controlling the aircraft during construction work while city building).  These systems allow helicopters to “stabilize” pitch, roll, and yaw while in-flight, regulate hover and altitude, and generally smooth things out while conducting tricky manoeuvres such as loading a long line or slinging cargo.  It’s a good system for the BA2 and works well, and the plan is to improve upon it for the BA2 V2 upgrade now under development (whoops … we’ve let the cat out of the bag … yup, we’re working on a BA2 V2 package which will upgrade the flight management system, mission control panels, and autopilot system).

The BA2 V2 autopilot will move toward greatness by allowing pilots to customize the type of systems automated and the sensitivity of the control inputs, while maintaining a simple and clear user-interface.  Awesome.  But we also want it to be Great, so here’s our question to you … what makes a great autopilot?  Please leave your suggestions or feedback below!